WYSO

April Laissle

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

April Laissle is a graduate of Ohio University and comes to WYSO from WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio where she worked as a weekend host and reporter.  There, she reported on everything from food insecurity to 4-H chicken competitions. April interned at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where she focused on health reporting. She also worked on The Broad Experience, a New-York based podcast about women and workplace issues. In her spare time, April loves traveling, trying new recipes and binge-listening to podcasts. April is a Florida native and has been adjusting to Ohio weather since 2011.

Ways to Connect

Some health advocates want to legalize a controversial practice they say would make routine dentistry more accessible and affordable for the most underserved Ohioans.
April Laissle / WYSO

More than half of Ohio counties don’t have enough dentists for the population. Numbers show the dental shortages are especially severe in many rural and low-income communities.

Ann Naber, a member of the Ohio Dental Hygienist Association (ODHA) and an instructor at Sinclair Community College, says this lack of access can lead to severe -- and often expensive -- health consequences for many people.

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

An Ohio village ordered to pay back $3 million in citations stemming from automated traffic cameras is taking its case to the state Supreme Court.

 The Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reports New Miami has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to hear its appeal. Lower courts have ruled that New Miami isn't immune to legal action because it gained funds by collecting fines under a traffic camera program that was declared unconstitutional in 2014.

The village argues sovereign immunity is guaranteed to municipalities across the state and necessary for preserving "fiscal integrity."

school transportation bus buses DPS public schools transit children kids education
Ohio Department of Transportation Facebook page

Dayton Public Schools has had an eventful few months. In December, district officials announced plans to close or consolidate schools, citing low enrollment. DPS also permanently severed ties with Superintendent Rhonda Corr. And, the district’s financial dealings have recently become the subject of a state audit. To learn more about these developments, WYSO’s Juliet Fromholt spoke with education reporter April Laissle.

Dayton Public Schools
Liam Niemeyer / WYSO

Dayton Public Schools paid three teachers a combined $30,000 during the months after they resigned. A report from the state auditor’s office revealed it took the district eight months to realize the error in one case.

By that point, the teacher had received $16,000 in unearned salary. A former assistant principal was also paid over $1,000 for days he did not work.

Flickr Creative Common User Karn Bulsuk

A Dayton attorney says local immigrant families are rushing to file paperwork to bring relatives to the U.S. before Congress makes any changes to current laws.  

Trump Administration officials have repeatedly discussed ending what they call “chain migration”, or the program that allows U.S. citizens and green card holders to sponsor family members to come to the U.S. Talk of eliminating family-preference immigrant visas has heated up in recent weeks, as Congress has debated immigration reform.

A crowd of around 100 people rallied to protest the Trump administration's announcement it would phase out DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Jess Mador / WYSO

While Congress debates immigration reform, one Dayton immigration lawyer says many Miami Valley DACA recipients are confused about their options.

Attorney Karen Bradley says her phone has been ringing off the hook. Many of her clients are wondering about how Congressional discussions on immigration may affect their families.

“People are scared," she says. "People are just scared in general.”

Bradley says the last few months have been particularly bewildering for DACA recipients.

 

April Laissle / WYSO

Many Dayton residents vented their frustrations about the upcoming closure of Good Samaritan Hospital at a NAACP-hosted public forum over the weekend. The event was attended by more than 100 people, featured a question-and-answer period with Premier Health officials.

At the beginning of the meeting, NAACP President Derrick Forward was clear: the group’s position is that Premier Health should reconsider its decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital.

April Laissle

Across the country, many school districts are grappling with declining enrollment. Many of these districts are opting to shutter schools in an effort to save money. This is despite conflicting research on the benefits of school closures. Now, Dayton may be next.  In December, DPS leaders revealed many district schools are operating at under 50-percent capacity. Officials launched a task force to help decide the fate of Dayton’s emptiest school buildings –– many of them on the city's west side. DPS authorities refer to the effort as a facilities "right-sizing."

Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr
Liam Niemeyer / WYSO

After more than two months, Dayton Public Schools has reached a separation agreement with superintendent Rhonda Corr.

 

DPS agreed to pay Corr’s salary and retirement contributions, and provide insurance benefits through the her current contract year - which ends in July.  The district will not pay out the remaining 2 years on her contract. The package is worth more than $100,000.

The deal was approved by the school board after a meeting Tuesday.

Staub Manufactuting Solutions / Facebook

President Donald Trump's guests for his State of the Union speech Tuesday include Miami Valley welders who have benefited from his tax overhaul.

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Staub Manufacturing Solutions owners Steve Staub of Tipp City and Sandy Keplinger of Springfield will attend the speech. Their employee Corey Adams, of Huber Heights, will also be present.

The company has been able to hire more employees due to the GOP tax reform plan passed late last year, according to a White House statement.

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